Solution Overview

Serena Release Automation (SRA) streamlines application changes into production by providing process automation that orchestrates complex deployments across all enterprise environments. SRA's drag-and-drop graphical process editor makes it easy to create and visualize the end-to-end deployment process. And, reusable process templates allow you to save and reuse component processes and properties, making it easy to quickly create new deployment processes.

Serena Release Automation helps you meet the challenge of application delivery by providing tools that improve deployment speeds while simultaneously improving their reliability. Serena Release Automation's release automation tools provide complete visibility into n-tiered deployments, enabling you to model processes that orchestrate complex deployments across every environment and through each approval gate. Serena Release Automation's drag-and-drop design tools decrease design-time by making it easy to visualize the end-to-end deployment process and develop the big picture—the What, How, and Where of the deployment workflow:

In Serena Release Automation, deployable items are combined into logical groupings called components which are deployed by component processes that consist of user-configured steps, many taken from integrations with third-party tools called plug-ins. Multi-component deployments are handled by user-assembled applications.

Deployment targets are represented by resources — databases, servers, and so on — that reside on hosts. Complex deployments can contain numerous components that target multiple hosts. Deployments are managed by agents residing on the hosts. Components can also remain independent of one another, which enables incremental or targeted deployments. Of course, you can model your components as you see fit — Serena Release Automation is flexible and works the way you work.

Agents

An agent is a lightweight process that runs on a host and communicates with the Serena Release Automation server. Agents manage the resources that are the actual deployment targets. Each machine participating in a deployment usually has an agent installed on it. When not performing deployments, agents run in the background with minimal overhead

Components

Understanding how Serena Release Automation uses the term component is critical to understanding Serena Release Automation. Components represent deployable items along with user-defined processes that operate on them, usually by deploying them. Deployable items — also called artifacts — can be files, images, databases, configuration materials, or anything else associated with a software project. Components have versions which are used to ensure that proper component instances get deployed.

Artifacts can come from a number of sources: Serena PVCS, Serena Dimensions CM, file systems, build servers such as AnthillPro, source version control systems, Maven repositories, as well as many others. When you create a component, you identify the source and define how the artifacts will be brought into Serena Release Automation. If the source is Subversion, for example, you specify the Subversion repository containing the artifacts. Each component represents artifacts from a single source.

Security

In Serena Release Automation's role-based security system, users are assigned roles, and role-permissions are assigned to things such as projects, build configurations, and other resources. For example, a developer may be permitted to build a project, but only view non-project related material.

Server

The Serena Release Automation server is a standalone server that provides core services such as the user interface, component and application configuration tools, workflow engine, and security services, among others. Many services are REST-based. Serena Release Automation supports cross-network deployments with relay servers. Relay servers enable network-to-network communications.

Vault

The Serena Release Automation-supplied vault provides secure and tamper-proof storage. It tracks artifact versions as they change and maintains an archive for each artifact. Associations between vault files and components are built-in and automatic. 

Explore how Serena Release Automation compares with other application release automation products.